Fears that the Taliban were about to move the British hostage Stephen Farrell across the border into Pakistan may have prompted Wednesday’s controversial commando raid in which his translator and a soldier were killed.
As new details of the assault emerged, Farrell, a New York Times correspondent, said his captors had become increasingly menacing and appeared to be preparing to move him to a neighbouring district.
A senior Afghan official, quoted by the paper, said the ultimate destination was Pakistan.
A British official on Wednesday told the Guardian the journalists’ lives were in imminent danger. “An opportunity arose and it was seized,” he said. But criticism of the raid mounted on Thursday amid suggestions that a negotiated settlement might still have been possible.